Jan. 29, 2016
THE FLATS – Looking to get another win over a ranked foe, 39th-ranked Georgia Tech (3-1) travels for the second straight weekend for a Saturday match at 12 p.m. against No. 59 South Carolina (2-2).
TEAM UPDATE — The Yellow Jackets, No. 39 in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association after beginning the spring at No. 43, opened with a pair of home-court wins over East Tennessee State and Presbyterian, then split two matches in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 23-24 in Los Angeles. The Gamecocks (2-2) opened with home wins over Presbyterian and Winthrop before losing twice in their ITA Kick-Off Weekend appearance in Columbus, Ohio.
SINGLES UPDATE — The Yellow Jackets are led at the top of their lineup by 6-foot-7 sophomore Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), who has won all five of his spring matches to date, all in straight sets and including a 6-4, 7-5 decision over Oklahoma’s Axel Alvarez-Llamas, who finished last spring ranked No. 6. Eubanks, ranked No. 6 now, compiled an 11-4 record in the fall and reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, knocking off three ranked foes in the process.
Behind him, Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) has played all four dual matches at the No. 2 position, going 2-2, while sophomore Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.), has logged every match at No. 3, winning one of three decisions. Head coach Kenny Thorne has shuffled the bottom three positions, but freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong) has been a pleasant surprise, winning his first three dual-match contests before getting a no-decision against UCLA.
DOUBLES UPDATE — Casey and Michael Kay, ranked 36th in the nation, established themselves at the top of the lineup with a strong fall and have won all three of their decisions in dual matches this spring. Thorne has tried different combinations at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Eubanks and Cole Fiegel played together in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, splitting their two matches.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS — “One of the most important parts of our schedule each year is how we do against our SEC opponents. It sets you up for a good season if you take care of business in those matches. Each match is tough, and we need to be playing our best. South Carolina has always been a tough team, being an NCAA tournament team most every season. We have quite a few road matches this season so we are taking pride in being on the road. We have faced some of the best competition in the nation already so we will be ready.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S TENNIS
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 18th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 15 times. Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_MTEN). For more information on Tech men’s tennis, visit Ramblinwreck.com.